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Full text of "NightRider"

itself, set off from other things by its fulness and completeness
and poise. Now that could scarcely be said with truth any
longer, for the love seemed now not an end and a reward, but
a beginning and, however enchanting and happy, a task, not
a whole but a part of a whole which he could not see, not a
poise, but a motion, blind though sweet, toward some unfore-
tellable target. It was not the answer, as it had once seemed,
but the question. Holding May on his lap, as when he told
her the story of the old man, he would close his eyes and bend
to kiss her neck, burying his face in the curve of flesh where
the neck joined the shoulder, Or he would seize her in his
arms and press her to him so tightly that he could feel the
resilience of her ribs giving, as though by this small cruelty
he might extort the satisfaction and the supreme assurance
not to be had merely by love,

" Don't, Perse," she would then gasp out; " don't, not that
way!"

He would not relieve the pressure in the slightest degree, a
small germ of hardness sprouting in his mind, so that her
words seemed addressed to someone else, not meant for him,
impersonally overheard. Then, when she would again say,
breathlessly, " Don't, Perse," he would slacken his hold, feel-
ing as he did so almost a hint of disappointment behind the
fact of his pleasure in her. " I love you so much," he would
say.

" I love you, Perse," she would answer.
Or standing with her before the fire at night, or in the yard
under the unkafing trees on a Sunday afternoon, he might
suddenly grasp her with her shoulders between his two hands
and hold her out from him, staring into her eyes, and shake
her a little, as one shakes a sullen child to make it speak and
trff the trath. But there was nothing for her to tell. He did
HOC t?ai know what he wanted to hear her say. What she
MftttHy would say was, "I love you, Perse." That was
twngb, aacl not enough.

But tite same expectation of discovery and fulfilment that
m waking, or forced him to try to tell May same